Your company brand is not your logo, and neither is it your identity. To create a image for your business or product three things are required; logo design, identity design and branding- all of which have different roles.
There has been plenty of discussion about these three different terms, and while it may be true that they are not the same thing, we have seen no clarification on the differences between them. To rectify this we have listed what is mostly common explained as, and the easiest for people to wrap their heads around.
What is brand? – The perceived emotional corporate image as a whole.
What is identity? – The visual aspects that form part of the overall brand.
What is a logo? – A logo identifies a business in its simplest form via the use of a mark or icon.
Let’s start at the top and go into further detail:
What is branding?
This is not a light topic at all, with several whole publications and hundreds of books having been written on the subject. However to put it simply, a brand could be described as an organisation, service or product that has a sense of personality that has been shaped by how your customers perceive the product. In saying this, a designer cannot ‘make’ a brand, the audience and customers are the only ones able to do so. S designer can however build and form the foundation of the brand and how they would like it to be perceived.
Brands are believed to only consist of a few elements- colours, fonts, possibly music, a logo and slogan. An actual brand is much more complicated than that. A brand should be seen as a corporate image.
The foundation idea and concept core of having a good ‘corporate’ image’ should reflect everything the company does, anything and everything that it owns, and it’s products that at produced. These should all strive to reflect the aims and value of the business and company as a whole.
Consistency of this core idea that creates a company, constantly moving it forward, what it stands for, what they believe in and why the company exits. A brand is not as simple as colour, typefaces, a logo and slogan.
To get a better understanding of this concept lets look at a major IT company- Apple. As a company Apple exudes a humanistic corporate culture with strong corporate ethics, both of which are characterised with volunteerism, the support of good causes & and involving with the community around them. The values and beliefs of this company are proven through everything that they do, from their products that innovate and simplify their consumers lives and the advertising of these products, right to the follow through of their customer service. Apple connects with their consumers through their emotionally humanistic brand, because of this when people buy and use their products they feel a part of the company, and form a tribe together. This emotional connection is what creates their brand- not just their products and bit size logo.
For a more thorough understanding of this concept and in simpler terms, I recommend Wally Olin’s: The Brand Handbook which I quote is “an essential, easy-reference guide to brilliant branding”.